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 Osaka JALT Journal Vol. 6 Call for Papers --Deadline February 24th--




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Winter Potpourri: Practical tips, Pronunciation training, Collaborative Research, and Exchange with Dubai

Sunday, January 29, 1:00-5:00pm  
(Doors open at 1:00, dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant. All proceeds from the event will go to support Tohoku relief efforts.)

Winter Potpourri:

Practical Tips,

Pronunciation Training,

Collaborative Research,

and Exchange with Dubai

Four presentations by

Stuart McLean, Gábor Pintér,

Greg Sholdt, and Laura Markslag


1:20 - 2:05 Stuart McLean - From TESOL program to the classroom: Practical tips for teachers
Mclean will explain the developments in flash-card vocabulary learning sites and the advantages and disadvantages of using them with students. He'll then demonstrate the use of student assessment cards to motivate and efficiently monitor in-class activities, will discuss the benefits of monitoring students’ Extensive Reading progress, and will introduce a range of recommended teaching materials. Finally, participants will share their own practical teaching ideas, time permitting.
Stuart McLean teaches at Momoyama University and is one of this year's JALT Research Grant recipients.

2:10 - 2:50 Gábor Pintér - Limitations of Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training Systems
While intelligible speech is a cornerstone of foreign language proficiency, pronunciation exercises are somewhat peripheral activities in both traditional and computer mediated teaching environments. Pinter will enumerate some of the most important technological, human and business factors that have hindered wider use of Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training systems in language education, and will point out that an application framework that approximates the modular structure of general learning management systems, such as Moodle, could lead to great advancements in pronunciation training. An ongoing project will be introduced that puts this idea into action by offering a simple but extendable speech exchange and evaluation service over the web.

Gábor Pintér hales from Hungary and is an associate professor in the School of Languages and Communication at Kobe University. After obtaining his PhD in linguistics he worked for a speech recognition company conducting research and development mostly in projects related to English language education. Since returning to academics he has been researching innovative methods and developing software applications in order to bring achievements of speech sciences and linguistic research to language education.

3:00 - 4:10  Greg Sholdt - Collaborative Research as an Approach to Professional Development for Language Teachers

Making the transition from teacher to teacher-researcher can result in a range of classroom and career benefits; however, getting started in classroom-based research can be a bewildering endeavor when undertaken alone. In this presentation, Sholdt will introduce a unique project that aims to provide an opportunity for language teachers to independently replicate a quantitative research study on writing fluency in their own classrooms and do so concurrently with a team of other teacher-researchers connected through an online discussion forum and resource center built with the popular Moodle platform. Teachers who join the project will discuss issues, raise questions, and share ideas about the research process while making use of online resources and receiving guidance throughout the process. The goals for the teachers include developing skills and knowledge in fundamentals of quantitative research, connecting with a community of EFL teacher researchers, producing a manuscript with potential for publication, and gaining experience with Moodle. Sholdt will provide an overview of the project, describe and show the structure and function of the Moodle site, and explain potential benefits and applications for this approach to professional development. The project will begin in January 2012 with data collection taking place in the Spring 2012 semester. Interested teachers will have the opportunity to ask questions and sign up after the presentation.
Gregory Sholdt
teaches in the School of Languages and Communication at Kobe University. Based on his graduate studies and teaching of introductory statistics courses at the University of Hawaii, he has been exploring innovative approaches to professional development through classroom-based research. He has developed and offered a number of professional development activities for language teachers including workshops and presentations, an online research methods course, and a Moodle-based collaborative research project. Sholdt was a Featured Speaker at JALT 2011 (co-sponsored by Osaka JALT, Nara JALT, and MASH) and currently serves as the Consulting Editor for the JALT Journal.

4:20 - 4:45  Laura Markslag - Online Exchange with Dubai: Motivating EFL learners through culture and authentic English

Engaging students in the use of authentic English can be a difficult task within the constraints of an EFL classroom. In this presentation, Markslag will describe a successful online cultural exchange program designed to promote cultural awareness and understanding in a global environment - while using authentic English - that took place between mixed level Japanese students from Osaka Gakuin University and first year students from Dubai Women’s College from October to December 2011. Markslag will discuss the rationale behind the program, the technical requirements, the steps required to set up and run the program, student reactions, and the overall outcome.

Laura Markslag holds an M.S.Ed from Temple University and is an EFL lecturer at Osaka Gakuin University. She is interested in vocabulary acquisition and assessment, multilingualism, and the development of motivating classroom materials. She has served on Osaka JALT's Executive Board since 2009.

Osaka City Municipal Lifelong Learning Center, multi-media lab, 5F, Umeda's Eki-mae Dai-2 Building, across the street from the Hilton and the Maru building. Tel: 06-6345-5000.
JALT members: Free
Non-members: 1000 yen (500 yen for students)

Happy New Year!


Joint Kansai JALT (Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, & Osaka Chapters) Year-End Event with PechaKucha Night

Saturday, 17 December 2011 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

12 PechaKucha Presentations
Once again, the Kansai area JALT chapters (Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka) will join together for a year-end event of PechaKucha presentations. This year, we will be combined with the PechaKucha Night Nishinomiya #11 at the Konan University’s Hirao School of Management (CUBE) in Nishinomiya.
The theme is “Teaching & Learning as a Social Process”. Doors open at 6:00pm and the first presentation starts at 6:40pm. There will be a 1000 yen fee at the door with one drink.
Please note that the event itself IS the JALT bonenkai party; There is a bar and some bar food available there, and after 9pm people are free to do whatever after-party they want.
Location:  CUBE, Hirao School of Management, KONAN University (Link to location)
  • Fee for JALT members: 1000 yen
  • Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

The presentations:

Warren Decker - Four-day Hike to Hongu, Wakayama

Mizuka Tsukamoto - Travels in Bhutan

James Crocker - JALT Literary Review SIG Proposal

Joanna Baranowska - Internship at Kyoto Machiya Tondaya

Harlan Kellem - Men's Street Fashion vs. Timeless Fashion

Ellen Head - Amnesty International's Write for Rights

Steve Cornwell - Teaching Christmas

Doug Meyer - Job Survey Results

Laura Markslag - Online Exchange with Students in Dubai

Stuart McLean - JALT Research Grant Project

Deryn Verity - Life in Pictures

Sean Gay - Identity and Bilingualism


An evening with Marlen Harrison - Language & Sexuality / Supporting Agency & Investment in Multilingual Writers

Saturday, Nov. 26, 6:00 - 8:30 pm

Part 1 - The Post-Japan, Doctoral Experience in TESOL: Pursuing Language and Sexuality Research
For many language instructors in Japan, further education may be key to job security and a wider range of options or may fill a need for personal growth and development. Marlen Harrison, an instructor/researcher in Japan from 2002-2006 will report on his experience leaving Japan to pursue a PhD in TESOL at a North American university. Marlen will describe the academic environment he encountered in doctoral studies (admissions requirements, funding opportunities, curricular options and research expectations) and discuss his final dissertation titled "Discovering Voices,” an examination of language, sexuality, and identity in 21st century Japan. When considering a dissertation topic, he recalled a conversation in which a friend discussed being gay in one language and not in another and wanted to further explore why this might be. By weaving together his own narratives about Japan and sexuality with the autoethnographic narratives of English-speaking, queer Japanese individuals, Marlen showcases the intersection between linguistic repertoire and those critical moments when we conceptualize, reveal, and perform our sexualities. Read more here:

Part 2 - Bridging Passion & Profession: Supporting Agency and Investment in Multilingual University Writers
After a short break, Marlen will continue by discussing how his academic experiences shaped him as a researcher and present a qualitative project he recently completed with current students in central Finland.

Throughout the last two decades, scholarship discussing learner development has expanded from viewing the learner as one who possesses intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to a performer who to varying degrees invests as an agent in the learning process – one who interacts, gives and gains. With this expansion in mind, the authors sought to look back at the trajectory of their experiences in a second language communication and composition course in order to more deeply understand the roles of agency and investment in their own and fellow classmates’ learning. As such, this research examines the role of project-based learning activities that attempt to bridge the learners’ personal and professional interests. Seven student-researchers reported via written narrative how such a bridging approach in the multilingual writing environment supported learner investment and agency. Student responses speak to the need for a stronger sense of connection with both their disciplinary studies and instructors, and highlight the ways in which investment and agency are associated with ideas about learner identity, autonomy and language acquisition. Read more here:

Marlen Elliot Harrison has been teaching language, communication, composition, literature and gender/sexuality studies at universities in Asia, Europe and North America since 1997. Having published numerous articles and chapters on topics ranging from second language teaching to writing classroom pedagogies, he specializes in writing across the curriculum and multilingual learner writing pedagogies. Currently teaching for the Language Centre at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, he previously taught in both Japan and the English department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), USA where he also completed his PhD in Composition and TESOL. With a background in mental health counseling and an MA in Education and Human Development/Counseling from The George Washington University, he is an inter-disciplinary instructor-researcher who works at the crossroads of humanities and social sciences to explore how both spoken and written language are shaped by cultures and identities. Learn more at

Dinner and drinks will follow the presentations at a nearby restaurant.

Namba Shimin Gakushu Center (Osaka City Municipal Lifelong Learning Center - Namba Branch), (O-CAT 4F, 06 6643-7010)
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

Osaka JALT Annual General Meeting and Dinner Party

DATE: Sunday, 13 November 2011
TIME: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
LOCATION: the Blarney Stone Shinsaibashi

We'll have a chapter business meeting to discuss officer positions for the coming year, give officer reports, and make plans. We'll also discuss whether to ratify our new chapter constitution, what presentations from the 2010 calendar year we may like to give awards to (feel free to nominate your favorite from those listed here by emailing us at, how we might further support Tohoku relief efforts, and any other items of business. We'll then move to Salvatore Cuomo Italian Restaurant for dinner from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, which will probably cost ¥2-3000 or so depending on what you order. RSVP to if you plan to attend the dinner whether or not you plan to attend the business meeting at the Blarney Stone so we can reserve enough seats. All are welcome for either or both portions of the evening but please do let us know if you plan to attend so we'll be sure to reserve enough seats.

from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at the Blarney Stone Shinsaibashi